Detroit Love Stories
Shades begins in the 1960s by following two young black women who are determined to find joy in their lives even as they struggle to make ends meet. Their lives continue to evolve under triumphant and disappointing conditions—falling in and out of love, giving birth, raising children, and struggling to "make it" despite disappointing and tenuous love affairs and relationships. The setting throughout the eighteen stories shifts as these women age and their children extend the timeline, reflecting on the city's social and political changes over three decades, as well as the pitfalls, tragedies, and opportunities these linked families encounter. Cintrón favors an everyday vernacular for her characters' voices in order to reflect the complexities of their working/middle-class, ethnic, and racial identities. Divided into two sections, Eastside and Westside, the collection gives a nod to the sometimes contentious geographical split marked by Woodward Avenue. Cintrón takes readers through city streets—from neighborhood bars to burger joints—while painting lyrical portraits of the unique and multifaceted characters whose honesty shatters the illusion of endless love and happily-ever-after fantasies, as they clash with the circumstances of economics and race.
Cintrón's stories capture the rhythms of language and the poetry of the people and will interest readers of fiction or poetry who seek to understand love.
About the Author
"Esperanza Cintrón has provided a detailed universe within her world in Shades: Detroit Love Stories, telling a wide variety of tales from a eclectic array of perspectives in this interrelated collection. I liked meeting these characters, getting to know them, then seeing them show up as secondary characters, and sometimes, secondary voices, in other stories. That paints a pretty elaborate landscape. Everything about this book sparks with energy and heartache and even some genuine good times. This family, headed by these two friends, faces so much, and Cintrón chronicles it all so eloquently."—Michael Czyzniejewski, Story366
"We are invited into a world in which characters and their tales, over extended spans of time, connect and interweave with the intricate delicacy of a sunlit spider's web. I wish I had written them."—Bill Harris, 2011 Kresge Foundation Eminent Artist and Author of I Got to Keep Moving (Wayne State University Press, 2018)
"A richly textured tapestry of the lived experiences of ordinary working-class Detroiters, men and women, the young and the young-at-heart, that brings to light the daily struggles of the disenfranchised and marginalized who strive to eke out a living; put a roof over their heads; care for their loved ones; fend off racism, crime, and urban blight; and keep hope alive through spiritual salvation, education, and love in one of America's postindustrial cities."—Jorge L. Chinea, Professor of History and Director of the Center for Latino/A and Latin American Studies
"In this vibrant collection of interconnected stories, Cintrón captures the struggles, joys, funk, suffering, and transcendence of a hard-living and hard-loving community and its people. So many characters left the page and lingered in my consciousness; so many shades of wonderful."—Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés, Author of Oye What I'm Gonna Tell You
Other Titles by Esperanza M. Cintrón
Other Titles from Made in Michigan Writer Series
Other Titles in FICTION / Short Stories